The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Remnants of Hurricane Ida pound northeast with flooding, tornadoes


Presented by AT&T




To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: 

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:


--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.



I’m about ready to grab my apocalypse survival kit and move to the wilderness. It’s been fun, y’all!: 

After pounding through Louisiana and the southeast of the U.S., remnants of Hurricane Ida ripped through the northeast yesterday, bringing massive flooding and tornadoes.


How many people have died: At least 14

Biden just spoke with the governor of New York: “Following the stunning flooding, New York Gov. Kathy HochulKathy HochulLetitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Governors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight Judge blocks NY state vaccine mandate for medical workers MORE says she just got off the phone with President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE and he told he’d approve ‘any declaration’ she needs.” (Via CNN’s Kaitlan Collins 

Amtrak suspended service between Boston and D.C.: “SERVICE ALERT UPDATE: All service between Washington (WAS) and Boston (BOS) has been canceled for the remainder of the day. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

It’s Thursday — and what an insane week it has been so far! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:



AT&T is making a $2 billion, 3-year commitment to help connect communities to their American Dream



We are making a $2 billion, 3-year commitment to help connect communities to their American Dream. 

Kamal Bell, Founder of Sankofa Farms



Yikes: “Queens Boulevard in Maspeth/Corona is a literal river at the moment. Bus fully flooded driving through, multiple cars stuck in the water. Absolutely insane.” Video from UNICEF’s Joe English 

I can’t believe this: 


New York flooding



Ugh, this subway literally looks like Splash Mountain 

The entire NYC subway system is suspended 

Yikes, this is Newark airport

^ The baggage area is also totally flooded 

Oh gosh: 


Flooding in New Jersey



The outfield at Yankee Stadium 

From a passenger on an Amtrak train last night: “I’m on an Amtrak train that left NYC just before it got really bad… but now we’re just sitting still because the tracks ahead are flooded. The conductor is straight up like ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen next.’” Update: The train went back to New York. 

Meteorologist Matthew Cappucci posted a video of a tornado in Annapolis: This video makes me nervous.

Here are more photos from Annapolis and Frederick, Md.: Via Washingtonian: 

This driving looks very dangerous: Video from Brooklyn:

Here’s a video from Staten Island 

From an Uber leaving JFK

And from North Plainfield, N.J. 



GrubHub delivery driver



Another angle of the flooding in Brooklyn

If you still want to see more: Here’s a series of photos from The New York Times:


Texas’s abortion ban: It stays.:

Just before midnight last night, the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’abortion ban, allowing the state to keep the law intact 

The Supreme Court opinion: 5-4. Chief Justice John Roberts sided the with the court’s three liberal justices.  

The court’s reasoning: “The majority, citing procedural complexities, said abortion providers had failed to make a persuasive case for the court to step in but added that the challengers had raised ‘serious questions’ about the law’s constitutionality.” 

Full breakdown from The Hill’s John Kruzel and Colin Meyn


Via The New York Times’s Adam Liptak, J. David Goodman and Sabrina Tavernise 

Nationally: “[T]he ruling was certain to fuel the hopes of abortion opponents and fears of abortion rights advocates as the court takes up a separate case in its new term this fall to decide whether Roe v. Wade … should be overruled.”  

And specifically in Texas: “It also left Texas abortion providers turning away patients as they scrambled to comply with the law, which prohibits abortions after roughly six weeks.”





Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Morgan Chalfant, “The White House is trying to move past the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by turning its attention to domestic priorities like President Biden’s economic agenda.” 

If you would please direct your attention to Congress: “Biden is gearing up for what promises to be a bruising intraparty battle to pass a $3.5 trillion spending bill that’s packed with some of his biggest policy goals. But he’s also poised to score a major bipartisan victory if the House passes a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package later this month.”

An immediate pivot: Biden’s late-morning remarks today are focused on the response to Hurricane Ida. 


My heart aches for these people:

Via The Hill’s Laura Kelly and Rebecca Beitsch, “American and Afghan allies left behind in Afghanistan have entered a fraught and uncertain period of limbo following the definitive conclusion of U.S. military evacuations out of the country.” 

How many vulnerable Afghans are still in the country? — it could be around 250k: “Advocates estimate roughly 150,000 vulnerable Afghans remain in the country after a U.S. evacuation effort ended early Tuesday, while those who assisted the U.S. military who may now wish to leave with their families could add another 100,000.” 

What many of those people are doing: They are hiding, in fear of retribution from the Taliban.

What we know


To quote Katy Perry, ‘And I will not negotiate, I'll fight it, I'll fight it’:

GOP Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Jan. 6 panel says it is reviewing Milley actions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? MORE (Wyo.), who was ousted from House Republican leadership over her opposition to former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE, has been elevated to vice chair of the Jan. 6 special committee. 

Some context to her new role: “[The] move designed to blunt criticism from former President Trump and his GOP loyalists on Capitol Hill that the panel's probe is a purely partisan exercise.” 

How many Republicans are on the committee?: Just two — Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)






Yet another reason to get vaccinated:

Via The New York Times’s Emily Anthes, “People who experience breakthrough infections of the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated are about 50 percent less likely to experience long Covid than are unvaccinated people who catch the virus, researchers said in a large new report on British adults.” The full story


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 39,407,708

U.S. death toll: 642,195 

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 371 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 919,633 doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers:


I interrupt this chaotic content to bring you landscaping at the White House this morning:

Tbh, it’s pretty mesmerizing. 


Landscaping at the White House




The House and Senate are out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

9:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief. 

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris swears in Ken Salazar Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Mexican States. 

4:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris and Labor Secretary Marty WalshMarty WalshBoston set to elect first female mayor Democrat Michelle Wu advances in Boston mayoral election Biden steps into legal fight with vaccine mandates MORE meet with staff to discuss the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment.


11:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden delivered remarks on Hurricane Ida. Livestream 

1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Psaki says White House offered 'early stage call' to Nicki Minaj Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream 

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden participates in a virtual event with rabbis from around the country to commemorate the Jewish High Holidays. Livestream

3 p.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team holds a press briefing. Livestream


Today is International Bacon Day!

And because the news is so heavy these days, here’s a puppy racing ducklings. I’m so conflicted, I want everyone to win!: